Does Substance Use Increase Violence In Adolescents?

1336 words - 6 pages

With different types of violence happening in all aspects of human life, and our perpetrators seemingly getting younger it brings to bear the question what role substance abuse has in crime. Crime comes in many forms, for example Cyber Bulling, Assaults, Intimate Partner Violence to name a few.
Adolescent Suicide Cyber Bullying and Physical Assaults
Suicide is the third leading cause of death (Murphy et al. 2012) If it is a crime or not is debatable. Suicide has historically been treated as a criminal matter in many parts of the world. However, the decriminalization of individual suicides has occurred in western societies (Wikipedia). Alcohol/ Illicit drug use is the prime behavior or risk factor associated with bullying and suicide. Conversely Victimization as a result of bullying shows an increase potential to adolescent alcohol/ drug use (Mitchell et al. 2007; Windle 1994). Other results from the studies of bullying victimization, and Alcohol use suggest that experiences of bullying creates an adverse cognitive process that increases the chance that an adolescent will use alcohol/illicit drugs. Using alcohol as a mechanism to deal with undesirable effects is reflective of research done in the past about the cause of adolescent substance use (Sher, Grekin, and Williams 2005). There are other studies that have shown substance use may have a cyclical relation in the ongoing effect of victimization and victimizing. The result is that substance use may facilitate young people that are already having suicidal thoughts to act upon them by decreasing inhibitions and raising destructive behaviors (Gould et al. 1998).
Association Between Adolescent Drinking and Adult Violence
The usage of alcohol plays a substantial part in the increased risk of violence. Alcohol has been connected to various types of violence such as murder, down to such things as theft and criminal damage to property. Other crimes such physical and sexual assault (Cacetano et al.2001; World Health Organization, 2002) along with intentional and unintentional injury to self and others (Rehm and Monteiro, 2005; World Health Organization, 2002). Adolescent drinking has been associated overtime with violent behavior and arrests (Dembo et al., 1991; Komro et al., 2000; Wells et al., 2007). Research indicates that teen-age drinkers are inclined to take part in violent acts and other crimes in adulthood, when compared with non-drinking youth (Anderson et al., 1999; Duncan et al., 1997; Swahn et al., 2004). Xue et al., found important links amid the progression of youth drinking and the progression of violence over eight years in an African American sample. Even after controlling for mutual hazard aspects. Additionally, El-lickson et al. (2003) discovered in early adulthood, adolescent alcohol users had double the chance of being arrested and engaging in destructive violence, and committing a felony, compared with those who did not drink.
Even with evidence of teenage drinking...

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